"What even is a football season?" - Bronko Nanietzsche
The 2014 Seattle Seahawks began their season with high, yet somewhat tempered, expectations. Even though they were the defending Super Bowl champions, and had the best odds in Vegas to win it all for almost the entire 364 days between Super Bowls, not many people would be mad if they didn't repeat. Because winning the Super Bowl, whether you are the most talented team or not, is hard.
They found that out on Sunday not only when they out-coached themselves on the final play of the game, but for much of the previous 59:40, like when they were down by a touchdown twice in the first half (7-0, 14-7) and when they had no answer for Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski at key moments (Patriots were 8-of-14 on third down, Seahawks were 3-of-10), and when New England overcame a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter, the first team in Super Bowl history to do that.
Nobody is guaranteed a Super Bowl championship. It can't be bought, borrowed, or even stolen without a lot of effort, talent, and luck, and that doesn't just include on the day of, but in the previous 365. As hard as it is to say it right now, the Patriots won the Super Bowl because Bill Belichick is good, Tom Brady is good, Rob Gronkowski is good, and a lot of their other players are good.
The Seahawks won the NFC and were one play away from a championship for all of those same reasons, but change the names.
It's a gut punch of a loss for sure, but for some reason I did not have the same reaction to the loss that so many other Seattle fans did. Not that I am right or anyone else is wrong, people react to different things in different ways, and truth be told I don't even really know why I am not devastated, but I have a hunch:
Wow what an entertaining fucking season!
When I was thinking about it last night, I came up with this simile for the last two years: The 2013 Seattle Seahawks are like Inception and the 2014 Seattle Seahawks are like Interstellar.
Let me explain.
Inception had a lot going for it. Christopher Nolan was coming off of The Dark Knight, arguably his best movie to date, and this was supposedly his baby that he'd been wanting to make for years should he ever be entrusted with the budget necessary to do so. After The Dark Knight was such a smash hit, Inception also had the money. It also had Leonardo DiCaprio and a great supporting cast.
Director. Money. Actor. Script. Supporting cast. And a formula proven to work.
Inception had so much going for it that 99 times out of 100, it would probably fail to meet expectations. But as far as I'm concerned, and as far as the 1.1 million people on Imdb who have given it an aggregate score of 8.8 are concerned, Inception definitely did not suck. It had everything going for it, and it fucking delivered.
The 2013 Seattle Seahawks.
Now there's Interstellar.
Director? Yeah, same guy.
Money? Ballpark budget is basically the exact same as Inception.
Actor? I guess you could say he's alright, alright, alright.
Script? If you can't trust Nolan, who can you trust?
Supporting cast? I could do without one of them (no point in naming names) but yeah, this was as all-star as it gets. Certainly, we missed Tom Hardy and Cillian Murphy.
A formula proven to work? Everything is here for Inception to work, and the expectations, especially since it came after Inception, were even higher. Did Interstellar deliver?
(Hesitates for 2 seconds) "Ye- Yeah? No yeah, it definitely did. I mean, I was fucking confounded by the ending, but I would definitely say it was entertaining."
The 2014 Seattle Seahawks.
So what even is a football season? It's performance art. It's a rollercoaster. It's high's and low's. It's watercooler talk. It's text messages to your friends and family. It's television. It's film. It's a novel. You hope it's a long novel. You hope it's a George R.R. Martin novel and you pray your favorite characters escape a colored wedding. It's a party with all your friends. It's chip, dip, and alcohol. It's high-fives and hugs.
For many of us, football is the very foundation for which we go about our days, and thank God we have one of the funnest, most-talented, funniest, happiest, angriest, grumpiest, quietest, loudest, youngest, experienced, sturdiest foundations in the game.
It's the only god damn football team we got, and they just gave us the most football we could have asked for. It's the 2014 Seattle Seahawks, and I am so fucking happy we get to root for this team and not something by Michael Bay.
I, for one, can't wait to see what's next.
(P.S. - Interstellar's aggregate score on Imdb? 8.8.)